Shapes the Sunlight Takes

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“Nine million different shapes for the sunlight to take. Nine million different ways that light slows itself down to experience time.”

by Josh Wagner
cover design by Colin G. Wright
publisher: Asymmetrical Press

“An odd, intimate story” -Theo Ellsworth

Lexie, a 15 year old outcast, believes she can see the future.

When her best friend’s dropout brother Derwin rides back into town, Lexie has a vision that he and her senior crush, Mirielle, are destined to have a child who will grow up to save the world. The problem is, Mirielle and Derwin hate each other. But Lexie believes it’s up to her to bring them together, if only for one night.

The conflict between her own desire for Mirielle and her allegiance to her vision drives Lexie to seek answers from the old folks at a high-tech retirement home, a clique of self-proclaimed eco-terrorists, and a story her ex-girlfriend once told her about a grotesque tongue that seduces souls at the world’s end.

Shapes the Sunlight Takes is coming-of-age magical realism about the relationships we make with our past and future selves, where the search for perspective in a world of self-deception culminates in a final showdown between Lexie’s imagination and the fate of the universe.

“Wagner’s novel does what all good novels should do: it made me think about the way that I think. Shapes the Sunlight Takes is a compelling study of the messy and complicated relationship between reality and fantasy, the secret rolls we cast for others in our own private versions of the world, and the obsessive ways we try to make sense of our own individuality. An odd, intimate story full of satisfying details.”
-Theo Ellsworth; Capacity, The Understanding Monster

“With an attention to feelings and language that I’m inclined to describe as enviable…. Wagner remembers what it’s like to be a teenage lesbian and does the dirty work of reminding the rest of us.”
– Molly Laich; Missoula Independent (full review)

“[Shapes the Sunlight Takes] flirts with dreams, delusions, hospitals, desires, and most of all, hope. . . . ‘The Basketball Diaries’, ‘The Virgin Suicides’, and ‘Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors’ all came to mind.” -Charlie Jack Joseph Kruger at Last Word Books (full review)

Lit Fiction / Magical Realism


Shapes the Sunlight Takes – Derwin and Mirielle from Fiction Clemens on Vimeo.

Shapes the Sunlight Takes Reading – Chapter 0 from Fiction Clemens on Vimeo.